City College’s cross-country team raced through the woodland hills of Golden Gate Park on Oct. 11 at the San Francisco State University Cross-Country Invitational, notching several personal records.
Undeterred by the cold and misty weather, the premier long-distance runners raced along the windy five-mile course.
“We have a home meet that we host here so [the runners] are well experienced,” head coach Marc Dyer said. “That said, I think we made a great effort today.”
Kyle Buske led the pack of four City College runners, posting a time just under 27 minutes.
“I felt I did pretty good today, better than my last race,” Buske said. “This was my first time running this event and my goal was to break 27 minutes. I liked this event—it was cool to run with Division II schools.”
His teammates also managed to improve their average mile times, all crossing the finish line in under 30 minutes.
“It was hard,” Andrea Damato, who only recently transitioned from boxing to competitive long-distance running and posted a time just under 30 minutes, said. “I was getting gassed after a while, but the third loop around the course started to open a little more. It was the last lap and I got my second wind.”
Gearing up for these trying long distances is a major effort in itself. Buske felt that mental preparation is easily as important as keeping his physique in top form.
“Getting ready for next time, I’m running more miles, but I’m also focusing on race strategy,” Buske said. “We have to keep that mental push. I try to start toward the back of the pack and then over the entire race, slowly pass a person every couple meters.”
Runners train on San Francisco’s scenic byways to be ready for any kind of terrain. Dyer said this diverse training regimen keeps his guys ready for any challenge.
“In the next few weeks, we’ll do a little more speed work,” Dyer said. “We will do more running at race effort, which for this group means anywhere from five to five and a half minutes per mile.”
With this big meet under their belts, the team is ready to take it to the next level.
“Our next meet is the conference championship,” Dyer said. “Our goal is to place in the top 14 all-conference individually.”